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ANTİKHAN HOTEL, İZMIR

antikhan1The Antikhan Hotel in Basmane started life in 1857 as one of the places where travelling salesmen could put up in town after lengthy cross-country jounreys. As such it was a successor to the old caravanserais and a precursor of the modern hotels which abandoned central courtyards where animals used to be unloaded before being stabled in the lower part of the building. 

In a town that is short on interesting places to stay the Antikhan offers a bit of character for those who prize that above immaculate designer decor. Here it sometimes looks as if things could do with some deep cleansing and running repairs. Against that, it's a welcoming place and I found my room with a double bed, minuscule bathroom and fridge comfortable enough to extend my stay.

The wifi worked well although the TV didn't. The air conditioner would be very useful in high summer. antikhan2

Breakfast is served in a dining room created out of one corner of the courtyard in winter and in the courtyard itself in summer. What that means is that otherwise desirable ground-floor rooms opening onto the courtyard are inevitably noisy from the moment that staff start to put out breakfast before 7am - light sleepers would be adviced to ask for one of the quieter rooms on the upper floor at the back of the building but slightly away from the courtyard.

Breakfasts are pleasant enough and staff will whip you up eggs as you like them on request. You can also have dinner here in the evening even though there's not a restaurant as such - most nights there's a set menu or you can ask for a grill. 

As for the location, it's either perfect or appalling, depending on your attitude. Anafartalar Caddesi is a very run-down part of town teeming with street cats and dogs and inhabited by some of the city's poorest people. On the other hand it's full of colour and life, not to mention being within easy reach of the bazaars and Basmane station. The ruined Agora is right on the doorstep too. I love it here. 

Thumbs up: Great location in terms of getting around, characterful hotel in city with few interesting hotels

Thumbs down: Noise from courtyard could trouble some people; Anafartalar Caddesi is very run-down

Tel: 0232-489 2750

 

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